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Petunia

☼ Petunia: recovering from 13 years of antidepressant use

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Petunia

Its been over a month since I posted, so thought I should come back to update. Its not been good, and I was surprised to see all the comments related to my 'improvement'. Thanks everyone, I'm going to have to go and read what I wrote in my last post because right now, it doesn't seem like I ever recovered from that last wave, not really.

 

I can't remember many details of what's been going on the last month or so, its easiest to live in the moment and not think about past/future. Its mostly been survival mode and distraction. If I did come out of the wave, it was short lived because I'm right back into the old routine of being woken up by surges of panic during the early hours. I can usually calm myself back down with breathing exercises and go back to sleep, only to be woken up again by the same thing, rising to a peak of intensity around 8am. It slowly subsides as the day progresses and by 10pm I'm usually feeling fairly calm, relaxed and almost happy, but exhausted after a day of trying to distract myself from feelings of dread and terror. Its not as bad as 3 years ago, there has been a lessening of intensity, but I'm still in the same daily pattern which keeps me from living a normal life.

 

Nothing I've ever learned, or experienced has prepared me for dealing with this. My mind isn't equipped with anything remotely capable of being able to process this and so it also exists in a state of chaos a lot of the time, if I let it. That's where the distraction helps, it keeps my mind occupied, so its not driving itself (and me) insane trying to find the threat, trying to locate the source of the invisible danger my body is reacting to.

 

My nervous system is still unstable and unable to regulate itself properly. Much of the time I'm feeling like someone would if they had a bomb strapped to their body, never knowing when it was about to explode. Not quite that extreme, because I don't think I'm about to die at any moment, and I know I'm not in immediate danger, but the unpredictability of how I'm going to experience life, from one moment to the next, from day to day causes stress I don't know how to avoid. I have very little external stress in my life, especially if I don't think beyond the present moment, but the stress of this illness, just trying to live with it and survive long enough to recover is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Not knowing how much longer I have to endure this, makes it worse, and every wave brings back the fear that I'm never going to recover completely or permanently and will be dealing with some form of this for the rest of my life.

 

Realizing that there's no acknowledgement, help or useful treatment from medicine adds another layer of fear. I live with a constant low level fear of being dragged back into the 'system' and being force medicated.

 

I do the best I can to not create secondary fear with anxious thoughts. But the reality is, I'm scared. My body/nervous system is still not anywhere near recovered after 4+ years, and even though I've had some periods of feeling like I'm recovered, obviously I'm not.

 

My sister is still very sick. She's been drug free about 2 years now, but much worse than I was at that stage. She's basically been in bed for 2 years now, being taken care of by our parents who are in their 80's. She only leaves her bed to use the bathroom, or to have a shower every few weeks. She hasn't left the house in over a year.  I used to visit regularly, when I was feeling better and confident I was on the path of recovery, they only live about 10 minutes away. But I'm barely managing to get myself around the corner for groceries again now. If I wasn't still so sick myself, I could be more supportive and encouraging.

 

My sister is being kept alive, but she's living in the dysfunctional, toxic atmosphere of our family home/ parents relationship, its added stress which she can't escape from and realistically, it was this dynamic which caused most of the adjustment problems and ensuing anxiety for both of us. Our parents are nowhere near as bad as they used to be, but the old patterns are still there. I see it very clearly now and can only be around it for short periods of time, so I'm worried about the effect it might be having on my sister's recovery. But I can't do anything until I recover more myself, which causes me to feel guilty. I'm the one person in her life who should be able to be supportive, because I know what she's going through, but I'm still going through it myself, so I can't do anywhere near as much as I want to.

 

I hardly communicate with anyone in the withdrawal community now, because I just don't know what to say. If I'm honest about how things are for me, then I'm creating fear and discouragement, which is not helpful. I've lost my ability for creating hope and encouragement, for myself, and everyone else. This recovery process is taking away my natural optimism and enthusiastic outlook on life. I know attitude plays a big role in recovery, I used to have a great attitude most of the time. But reality has kicked a huge dent in my optimism. Its a struggle to conjure up enough each day to keep myself going.

 

I don't have any emotionally supportive people in my life. I'm grateful I'm no longer caught up in toxic, abusive relationships, but its difficult to consistently be kind to myself, I'm so used to blaming myself for everything which goes wrong, its what I was taught, old patterns are deeply ingrained, so there's that too... and now I realize that's the real cause of the anxiety which was attributed to a brain defect or chemical imbalance.

 

Emotional neglect and abuse in childhood. Lots of traumatic events, for which I got little or no support. Drawing emotionally abusive people into my life, because that's what I was used to, its what felt normal. So the pattern of bad things happening, blaming myself, being emotionally punished and experiencing rising levels of stress, fear and insecurity culminated in a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder from defective brain chemistry, rather than CPTSD from life events. And if that wasn't bad enough, the 'treatment' for this illness was to poison me with brain damaging pills for years on end and brand me with the stigma of a 'mental illness', which basically confirmed the beliefs I was programmed with from childhood, that I was a defective person, and therefore deserved all the pain and unhappiness I got... its my own fault.

 

I can see I've had a pattern in relationships of trying to justify my own existence by proving I'm really a good person. My childhood taught me that to survive, I had to please everyone, not cause any trouble and to suppress all my emotions because they're just not acceptable, they upset other people and its bad to upset other people. The punishment for breaking these unspoken rules was complete emotional abandonment, often lasting for days. So I learned how to abandon myself, it seemed like the only way to survive in a world where my true self wasn't acceptable.

 

Ironically, SSRIs made killing off huge chunks of myself a lot easier. But I should have known something was wrong when soon after I started taking them, I fell into the deepest, darkest pit of depression I'd ever experienced in my life. Life suddenly lost all sense of meaning and purpose and the only thing which kept me alive was the fact that I had a young daughter who needed me to take care of her.

 

But I never did join those dots, after all, they were called anti-depressants, so I stuck with them and my life slowly continued to unravel, only now, I hardly noticed and cared even less. I had finally been made normal, so I guessed this was just the way life was for everyone with normal brain chemistry.

 

Thankfully, I woke up, learned the truth and stopped poisoning myself. But I woke up into a nightmare version of existence. I get confused knowing how much of this is still being caused by recovering from drug effects, and what is me struggling to integrate the truth about myself and what really happened to me. On most days, the best I can do is survive through the day, enduring the ongoing symptoms and trying to stay aware enough to keep myself from falling back into old self abusive patterns of thinking and acting.

 

I desperately want to recover, so I can have a chance of experiencing some real happiness and peace before I die. My early years were filled with suffering because of childhood trauma and now that I have the awareness and self insight to overcome that, I can't because now I'm physically sick, having been poisoned by a corrupted medical system with their fake diagnosis and harmful treatment. I could have some control over my life, my choices, my decisions. I could be free from being controlled by unconscious fears from my past, but I can't because now my nervous system is damaged.

 

I keep reminding myself that its not too late, there's still hope and I might recover fully with more time. I just wish I knew how much more time its going to take.

 

 

 

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Shep

Hi, Petu.

 

I'm seeing something as an outside observer that you may not be able to see while in the thick of the storm. And it shows healing is happening.

 

There's a point that we all come to when we look back over our journey and realize how messed up everything is. This doesn't happen earlier on because all of our energy has to be focused on simply surviving something this brutal. 

 

But as windows or partial windows start to open up, it lets light in. And just like being all cozy inside a dark room can help with healing, eventually we have to go outside. And that first sudden shock of bright sunlight can be overwhelming. It sends the nervous system back into overdrive. 

 

I'm wondering if you might be in such a place? You're well enough that you don't have to grip onto the hand rails of life to simply make it to the kitchen or to the bathroom, but you're not well enough to really get engaged in life yet. 

 

And at the same time, your mind has cleared enough that you're taking the personal history tour of your life and your family's lives and you're taking in the magnitude of what was lost due to the drugs. And that's a lot of weight to carry.

 

But I do see this as part of the healing process and not a setback. 

 

I'm not sure if that is what's going on or if it's just another nasty wave that's settled in for awhile. Either way, it is temporary. You are not broken. 

 

Slowly, we are able to go out and engage in life more. And those experiences pile up into a new database of memories. And slowly, very slowly, these happier memories begin to replace the memories of being shattered and broken. And as the new memories build up, more of the old memories of trauma and loss are let go. And we gain confidence as this happens. 

 

It's a process, a very slow process, but I do see healing happening. You are simply in one of those in-between spaces which can be very scary, as all in-between spaces are. 

 

I hope this helps. I'm in a similar place, so I can relate to some of what you're sharing. Thank you for letting us share your journey. 

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bubble

Dear Petunia,

 

I'm also very grateful that you continue to share all the difficult moments bravely and openly. It was beautiful to read the way Shep sees your current state and it makes so much sense to me. They say the night is darkest just before the day break...

 

And there is this battle fatigue thing.

 

We are all rooting for you and sending you lots of healing vibes.

 

Keep us posted with both good and bad. At times I also don't have words of encouragement, there's just the horror of this situation. But I think it is completely natural to feel this way occasionally. Deep down we know that the recovery does happen and is happening.

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coldturkmama

I understand ?

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Pepita

hi Petunia,

I am so sorry to hear that his wave seems to take forever! I wish I had a magic wand and just go around healing people. 

After having been very much better I went through a relly long wave where I pretty much lost hope (again) for ever being fully recovered. BUT- the next window came and still lasts for now. It will also come for you, no matter if you are hopeful right now or not! And then you will feel the proof of process again! 

Best, Pepita

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Petunia

Thank you for all the encouragement and support, especially Shep for sharing your perspective. It does feel very much like I'm in one of those spaces.

 

I read something very similar yesterday, it was talking about being in the space between stories, and that also rang true for me. But it was both comforting and frightening. I don't want a new story. I don't want to fall back asleep. Each time I've had a window, that's kind of what's happened. I've got caught up in activities which have been pleasant and enjoyable, but ultimately meaningless and not how I want to spend the rest of my life. I seem to be balanced precariously on a narrow point between the security of a culturally recognizable and acceptable identity/story and freedom with all the insecurity and uncertainty it brings.

 

This whole idea of our lives being a series of stories we tell ourselves and each other is something I've just started to understand and I see it clearly now. I believed the stories I was told as a child. The stories about how the world worked and the stories about myself and other people. Most of it was lies. But I tried to mold myself into one of these story characters the best I could, so I could fit in and survive. But the whole time, my soul was screaming at me, trying to warn me that something was wrong. The truth has been trying to get my attention my whole life... and here it is, I've seen it and as the popular movie quote warns us... I can't handle it.

 

Withdrawal has been pinning me right in the moment, because that's the only way I've been able to survive. Right here, right now is all my brain has been able to deal with, its been and still is an excruciating and exhilarating blend of heaven and hell. I want to escape from the hell, but don't want to lose heaven.

 

I don't know how to live without the lies. Those lies I've told myself my whole life, the lies our culture encourages us to live by. I don't know who I really am, I never did and now its clear, if I'm going to live authentically, from now on, I've got to figure out how to live like this, with no story, no identity, just dealing with reality from moment to moment, fully facing the innate insecurity of human life.

 

For me, this has always been more than just withdrawal, although that was the catalyst which has dragged me through all the other changes.

 

I'm letting go of some of the distraction activities, which have been supporting my recovery over the last year. They started to create stress and are no longer pleasant and meaningful. But there's nothing to take their place, so I'm staring into the void again, at the mercy of unpredictable physical symptoms, not knowing.... well, anything really.

 

I've been experimenting with listening to pink noise  while I sleep. Its having a subtle effect on my quality of sleep and the intensity of symptoms when I wake up. When I have it playing through my headphones, I don't wake through the night, my early morning dreams are not as disturbing and the unpleasant surges of adrenaline, panic etc when I do wake up are not as intense. But its not having any effect on symptoms or recovery rate in general.

 

I've probably got more to write, but I need to go out and buy some vegetable for juicing and right now, I feel like I can manage going out into the world to do that, if I don't think about it too much. So that's what I'm going to do.

 

 

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kara100

Hi Petunia, I am sorry that the recovery is taking too long for you and believe me anyone feel at this point that one is stuck with this terrible disease for forever. Petunia,  I am someone who used a drug remeron for only four months  at a lower dosage and for 10 more days after that when I started experiencing withdrawal and didn't know what it was. It's been 20 months since I quit the drug now and have experienced 70 percent healing or I could say that 70 percent of my symptoms have already gone that doesn't torture me now on a daily basis. I will say that if one human body is capable to heal that much than one can believe that the othet human bodies are also capable just to do that. Petunia,  please believe that you will heal about 80 to 90 percent and this is not a sweet dream , it is a reality, so many people have healed in this forum that much. Maybe you have to work more by not being afraid or get scared by the waves, because by being scared or afraid or angry, or by being distressed,  we are not giving our body a full potential to heal. Our body has to be calm in order to do healing. Don't think about tomorrow,  just focus on today and it is now. Eat low histamine diet, take high quality fish oil, Vit c, multivitamin and pray to your personal  God and believe him that he will change your life. I was praying to God, crying and begging to him for my life in the thick of withdrawal and you know what he did listen to me, not immediately but he did in the end. Now I enjoy life I have never enjoyed before. I take my three and half daughter every where and live a life like before. I don't think anyone could do this beside God. I hope you find a love and deep connection with God and find a true

healing. 

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Pepita

Petunia, what do you mean by "the life your leading when in windows ins meaningless?" or you fill it with meaningless things?? if it's joyful how can it be meaningless?:)

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Marsha

Hi Petunia. Thinking of you  and reading parts of your story. I thank you for your expressions. I have made similar reflections of my life. You have much depth and through your examinations, I hope you find answers to life's big questions.

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Petunia

This time last year, I was sure I would be writing my recovery story this year.... about now. But not yet.

 

I just came back from a fairly long walk and even though this recovery is taking too long, I'm happy I've made some improvement over the last few weeks. This is the first time (while not in a window) that I've been able to be outside and not feel any fear or sense of threat. I was comfortable walking around and able to look at things and almost see them clearly, in the way I used to be able to look at things. So I guess this means the derealization has reduced a bit more.

 

It was mostly a neutral experience, with moments of emotion, some positive some negative. I'm able to connect with nature again, and experience some joy looking at baby ducks and all the water birds floating around on the lake. But its disappointing to see garbage laying on the ground, it makes me angry and sad the way some people disrespect the environment, ruining what could be pleasant and beautiful. I walked for about an hour and every few minutes there was a soda can, a beer bottle, empty packets, discarded trash. It was floating in the waterways, not a lot, but enough to be noticeable. It never used to bother me, but for some reason, it does now.

 

I'm sleeping well now, apart from the occasional bad night. But I'm still getting the cortisol mornings, starting about 6am, it causes disturbing dreams and then I wake into feelings of dread and anxiety. Its a physical thing, and then the secondary anxious thoughts start as I come to terms with the reality of my life again and the fact that time continues to slip away. Sometimes there is random physical pain, this morning it was in my left shoulder and right side of my head, but it subsided as the day progressed. Tinnitus has got worse over the last year, its seems much louder at times, but other times I don't notice it. When I start to feel better, later in the day, I feel a higher quality of better. Its better than when I was on medication and possibly even better than how I felt most of the time pre-drugs. I've certainly developed an ability to be peaceful and happy in the present moment, living a very simple life. Unfortunately, I have to get through some very uncomfortable hours every day before I can experience these blissful moments later in the day.

 

I doubt I'm ever going to go back to the way I was before, that person just doesn't exist any more and I still don't know who I am now, or who I might become. Most of the time, I still can't imagine ever being able to do much more than what I'm doing right now, which isn't much. But I'm keeping myself alive and keeping up with everything I need to do and maybe that's enough.

 

Thank you whoever left comments here on my thread, I appreciate the support. I wanted to respond to a few things:

 

On 9/2/2017 at 8:19 PM, kara100 said:

 Eat low histamine diet, take high quality fish oil, Vit c, multivitamin and pray to your personal  God and believe him that he will change your life. I was praying to God, crying and begging to him for my life in the thick of withdrawal and you know what he did listen to me, not immediately but he did in the end. Now I enjoy life I have never enjoyed before. I take my three and half daughter every where and live a life like before. I don't think anyone could do this beside God. I hope you find a love and deep connection with God and find a true

healing. 

 

Thanks Kara100. Throughout this process I've tried so many different kinds of diets and supplements, trying to get some relief from symptoms. Eventually I've come to the conclusion that a basic, natural healthy diet and no supplements is what's working best for me. The only supplement I take now is ubiquinol, I even stopped taking magnesium. I juice fresh vegetables and fruit regularly and get most of my vitamins from that.

 

...and about God, well, I used to have an external kind of God in my life, but he abandoned me along with every other external source of comfort and hope. So I was alone in all of this for a long time. I figured I was going through the dark night of the soul and would just have to learn how to look inside of myself for strength. It seemed to be a test of faith, or a test of something. Now my concept of God is different from what it used to be, but I can't put it into words, so I wont try. I'm so glad you have healed and can enjoy life again, that gives me hope too.

 

 

On 9/3/2017 at 7:07 PM, Pepita said:

Petunia, what do you mean by "the life your leading when in windows ins meaningless?" or you fill it with meaningless things?? if it's joyful how can it be meaningless?:)

 

The last time I had an extended window and felt completely recovered I was spending most of my time playing pokemon go, mostly by myself because my daughter lost interest after about a month and stopped playing. I was having fun, but eventually I saw through it and realized it was empty and meaningless because all I was doing was artificially giving myself little dopamine surges by collecting things which didn't really even exist. It became pointless and started feeling like a waste of time. Previously, when I've had extended windows I've spent the time fixing up the garden and outside painting and things like that. But even that seems meaningless now. I think it might have been meaningful while I was doing it, but the outcome seems meaningless now, that's what I mean... it hasn't helped me or anyone else in the long run.

 

If I'm not doing something which helps someone else, or is of benefit to someone else, then whatever I'm doing, eventually ends up feeling like there's no value in it. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I'm still struggling to accept that life itself is meaningful, just as it is. Because of the way I was raised, its not ok for me to just be myself and be happy doing what I want to do. Its still all very confusing sorting out truth from fiction and learning how to live all over again from the ground up.

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bubble
1 hour ago, Petunia said:

If I'm not doing something which helps someone else, or is of benefit to someone else, then whatever I'm doing, eventually ends up feeling like there's no value in it. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I'm still struggling to accept that life itself is meaningful, just as it is. Because of the way I was raised, its not ok for me to just be myself and be happy doing what I want to do. Its still all very confusing sorting out truth from fiction and learning how to live all over again from the ground up.

 

Maybe us humans are not meant to achieve some 'higher purpose'. Maybe it is just our arrogance telling us that while actually we are just meant to be content by living in harmony with ourselves, others and the nature. Just engaging in mindless, feel good activities without analyzing them as dopamine inducing waste of time. I was never catching Pokemon but I was it is a  kind of mindfulness and meditation practice, practicing being in the moment. By doing something that makes us feel good we are actually doing something good for others and the environment. All that purposeful human activity brought us to  the verge of destroying ourselves and our planet. 

 

By not being 'productive' and living self-contained lives we are actually doing a lot of good to the environment. That's an alternative way of seeing this :)

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Petunia
2 minutes ago, bubble said:

 

 By doing something that makes us feel good we are actually doing something good for others and the environment. All that purposeful human activity brought us to  the verge of destroying ourselves and our planet. 

 

By not being 'productive' and living self-contained lives we are actually doing a lot of good to the environment. That's an alternative way of seeing this :)

 

I love what you've written here bubble, its a much better way of thinking than what I've been doing lately. Yes, I might not be part of the solution, but at least I'm no longer being part of the problem. Actually, this in itself is a leap of recovery for me because several years ago I didn't care about anything anymore, had completely given up on humanity, this planet and myself and was ready to die. Now, I'm caring again.

 

I just logged back on to add some links to sites I've been finding helpful over the last few weeks. None of them are withdrawal or drug related, but they have been helping me in other ways.

 

Wayne WirsThe Day-to-Day Life of a Rational Mystic

 

Unfortunately, he took his own life about a week ago, due to pain and lack of resources, a post in a fb group about his suicide is what led me to his work.

 

.... and this guy has helped me to finally understand and let go of years of narcissistic abuse, from my childhood, but mostly from a 13 year abusive marriage.

HG Tudor

 

Youtube channel: Knowing the Narcissist

 

 

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brassmonkey

 

"Maybe us humans are not meant to achieve some 'higher purpose'. Maybe it is just our arrogance telling us that while actually we are just meant to be content by living in harmony with ourselves, others and the nature." 

 

To be content with where you are is the greatest achievement in life.

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Petunia

TRIGGER WARNING: Long term protracted negative post.

 

...so its been about 2 months since I was last here, and thought it was time for an update.

 

I don't think I've made any significant progress in the last year. I'm now 4.5 years drug free. My symptoms are obviously less intense than they were 3 years ago, but most of them are all still here. Sometimes, some of them disappear for a while, and then come back. They cycle around and around, mornings are still very difficult, same pattern. Waves have merged into a plateau of 'withdrawal normal', with the occasional day or two or three of feeling ok. I haven't had a real window in over a year. Feeling 'ok' these days means my morning symptoms aren't as intense and they ease up earlier in the day. I guess this might be called a dirty window. I'm getting 2-3 dirty windows a month, usually grouped together.

 

Currently, I'm feeling very despondent, with little hope left. I feel hopeless, helpless and miserable because I'm still living like this, I want some quality of life back. I exist and survive with no idea when or if its going to improve much beyond how it is now.  I can feel my brain and NS struggling, trying to operate normally. But normal functioning only seems possible for moments or short periods, then its back to chaos and low-energy.

 

For 3 months in the middle of last year, I thought I was recovered, but was forced to accept the return of symptoms. Now another year has passed and I'm still sick with no life and no ability to do anything to help myself.  Watching other people moving on with their lives is becoming increasingly more difficult. I'm experiencing lots of envy, jealousy, anger and so many hateful, unpleasant emotions which I rarely used to have. I'm becoming someone I don't like and don't want to be. I want to be happy for other people's good fortune and nice lives, but I'm not, I'm becoming bitter and resentful.

 

Shame, envy, hatred, anger, disgust.... all emotions I rarely experienced have become my daily companions and I don't like it. This isn't who I am, but apparently it is. I guess anyone exposed to enough suffering with lack of help or support for long enough will feel these things eventually. I don't know if they are 'neuro' emotions or normal reactions to what I'm going through, but I don't act on them. Instead I just feel them or try and distract myself from them. Keeping myself away from other people and from communicating at all helps me to not express them or cause harm to anyone else. But I still have to feel them and live with them in this isolated vacuum.

 

My sensitivity levels fluctuate, I'm able to tolerate light better, but I'm still having problems with sound and my own emotions become overwhelming at times. When I'm feeling unwell, which is still the majority of the time, I can't tolerate being around other people. Any kind of stimulation feels unbearable. Whether its sounds from the TV, laughter from another room, a dog barking, my own memories, thoughts of the future, emotions or a random thought, its all unpleasant and feels like an assault or an extreme sensory violation. Casual conversation can be exhausting as my brain struggles to manage everything associated with it. Occasionally, everything suddenly 'clicks back into place' and the old me is back including my personality, sense of humor, vocabulary and energy levels, but it doesn't last for long.

 

My cognitive abilities are much worse than they were 2 years ago. I think I've developed altzeimers. Added to this is the fact that I'm still dealing with all of this mostly alone. I have family, but they are either living their own lives or have too many responsibilities already. And my sister, who is the person I've been closest to my whole life, is going through exactly the same, but she's even sicker than me. Occasionally I feel sorry for myself for being so socially isolated, and for having no one else to take care of me, but the truth is, when I'm feeling so unwell, I prefer being alone, the presence of other people seems to make symptoms worse.

 

When I do feel better, its a huge relief and just the experience of being alive feels blissful, I find myself completely happy in each moment. I try and catch up on what needs to be done, and put into place some little routines, but then inevitably I crash, end up feeling worse and everything falls apart again.  .... and again and again. It makes no difference that I know this is how its supposed to be. Going through this is the most demoralizing and hope draining experience I could imagine is possible. To get the occasional crumb of hope, and then have it cruelly snatched away. Its like I can almost hear a sadistic, evil laugh echoing from a distant past I can't quite remember. I'm managing to hold onto my sanity and connection with reality, just, but I don't know for how much longer if I don't start getting some improvements soon.

 

I truly believed that I would get better and become the independent, functioning person I used to be. But this has been going on too long and I'm scared of getting worse or being stuck like this. I'm so sad and disappointed that the only help and support I got through my life has ultimately been harmful and destructive, eventually causing more suffering than I could imagine possible.

 

I've ordered a couple of books about CFS, with treatment programs for recovery, its my last hope. The varied symptom profile, and recovery patterns of both CFS and protracted psyche drug withdrawal are almost identical. So I'm thinking they are the same illness with different causes. One theory is that its ANS dysfunction, another is that its mitochondria damage, maybe its both. Many things I've tried seem to help for a while, but then don't. Most of the time I don't have enough energy to try anything. When I do get a window, that precious energy needs to be used to catch up on chores, so I can't afford to waste it running around looking for 'miracle' treatments which probably aren't going to help anyway. There's just not enough energy in my brain and body to keep anything together for long. Add to that my extremely low stress tolerance levels, I''m very easily pushed over the edge and have to go home to escape from what feels like overwhelming stimulation. Its the proverbial catch 22, there's probably more I could be doing to help myself, but the illness itself prevents me from being able to do any of those things consistently enough for them to help. But if there's enough evidence to show that something really is going to help, I will be more inclined to spend my valuable energy doing it.

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Shep
5 hours ago, Petunia said:

I'm experiencing lots of envy, jealousy, anger and so many hateful, unpleasant emotions which I rarely used to have. I'm becoming someone I don't like and don't want to be. I want to be happy for other people's good fortune and nice lives, but I'm not, I'm becoming bitter and resentful.

 

 

 

Hi, Petu.

 

I'm just hitting the 2.5 year mark off all these toxic drugs and what you're describing is something I'm seeing periodically now and can relate to. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time and energy to write all of this out. I'm sorry you're also dealing with this, but please know that it's very helpful to read for those of us off these drugs and expecting to see more healing by now. 


 

Quote

 

 I don't know if they are 'neuro' emotions or normal reactions to what I'm going through, but I don't act on them. Instead I just feel them or try and distract myself from them. Keeping myself away from other people and from communicating at all helps me to not express them or cause harm to anyone else. But I still have to feel them and live with them in this isolated vacuum.

 

 

 

 

The fact that you can stand back and witness this is proof that it's not who you are at the core. I really do believe it's a stage and a really healthy stage and not a neuro emotion. For me, I see neuro emotions as the "reaction" to the anger, not the anger itself. And in this case, the anger is valid. 

 

But to not act on the anger shows real growth, maturity, and insight. And it shows how powerful we really are, especially during such a brutal chemical poisoning in which very few people in our real lives believe us or want to help us. As Alan Watts says, "There are no wrong feelings, only wrong actions."

 

What you're describing is strength, even if it doesn't feel that way.

 

 

5 hours ago, Petunia said:

Occasionally, everything suddenly 'clicks back into place' and the old me is back including my personality, sense of humor, vocabulary and energy levels, but it doesn't last for long.

 

My cognitive abilities are much worse than they were 2 years ago. I think I've developed altzeimers. 

 

All anyone has to do is read through your thread starting in 2013 and see how articulate you are. And you still are writing very articulately. That doesn't show as Alzheimer's, especially since you write about having breaks from these symptoms, as "everything 'clicks back into place'" as you just wrote. 

 

I have waves where I feel like I'm back in the acute phase of cold turkey benzo withdrawal, but like you, I'm getting some reprieves. But when the waves hit, it's very hard to see the gains. And then my thoughts go into feeling like I'm always going to be this way, this isolated, this unable to keep up with everyone else. 

 

But statistically, we are in a minority of survivors in a massive pandemic of drug-induced poisonings in which many people go to their graves early thinking they are mentally ill. But not us. We are injured, no doubt about that, but we are still on the other side, waiting for our wounds to heal so we can move on. And move on we will, just not yet. But we ARE on the other side. 

 

 

5 hours ago, Petunia said:

There's just not enough energy in my brain and body to keep anything together for long. Add to that my extremely low stress tolerance levels, I''m very easily pushed over the edge and have to go home to escape from what feels like overwhelming stimulation. Its the proverbial catch 22, there's probably more I could be doing to help myself, but the illness itself prevents me from being able to do any of those things consistently enough for them to help. But if there's enough evidence to show that something really is going to help, I will be more inclined to spend my valuable energy doing it.

 

I get a strong vibe that the fatigue is a "signature symptom" for you and I think there's a lot of Battle Fatigue that comes from this experience for all of us. It's like you're given a ten-pound weight to carry at the beginning of the journey, which doesn't seem too heavy, not much of a burden at all.

 

But one year, two years, three years, later and it feels like it weights 60 or 70 pounds because you rarely ever get to put it down and rest. And there's no one to help you carry the weight. 

 

When my thoughts go dark and I feel completely broken by the experience, I image what it will feel like when I can put that 70-pound weight down, especially with all of the armor I've gained through this experience - mindfulness, ability to withstand long periods of isolation and pain, the ability to under-react to toxic people and circumstances, etc. You get to keep that armor once you heal and by then, you no longer have to carry that 70-pound weight but you are stronger for the experience. 

 

Hang in there, Petu. Although you feel isolated, know that there are a lot of people out there several years off these drugs going through the exact same thing that you so very well articulated.

 

Thank you for your post. 

 

 

 

Edited by Shep
fixed typo

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apace41

I was reading this in the middle of my night (with only a couple of hours sleep), Petu, and thinking "wow, I could have written that post" -- how do I post something that gives both Petu and me some positive feeling in the face of this negative situation.

 

Thankfully, I didn't have to do it because, as is frequently the case, Shep stepped into the void. 

 

Thank you, Shep. That was beautiful as a response.

 

Petu, this is an insidious condition but I believe that the signs you have seen -- the "dirty windows" -- all of the hints of what will be are just that -- foreshadowing of a future that will be worth the wait.  I need to work on reminding myself that is the case.  I hope you can as well.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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bubble
3 hours ago, apace41 said:

I was reading this in the middle of my night (with only a couple of hours sleep), Petu, and thinking "wow, I could have written that post" -- how do I post something that gives both Petu and me some positive feeling in the face of this negative situation.

 

Thankfully, I didn't have to do it because, as is frequently the case, Shep stepped into the void. 

 

Thank you, Shep. That was beautiful as a response.

 

Andy, you wrote everything for me! Except that in my case it was very early in the morning and I was trying to distract myself from inner anguish when I came across Petunia's post.

 

As Shep, I also felt it so well articulates what we are going through. I'm not even off drugs yet, maybe just half way and I feel exactly the same: tired of isolation, my cognitive ability resembles somebody with alzheimer's at times, I'm full of all those negative feelings you list towards people around me...

 

But I still believe it just has to end one day.

 

And this is a very important point. What would've happened with us had we not learnt about such thing as the withdrawal syndrome and that it is not our 'mental illness' getting more severe. I don't think I would be able to put up with any of this had I stayed within the mental illness paradigm.

 

4 hours ago, Shep said:

But statistically, we are in a minority of survivors in a massive pandemic of drug-induced poisonings in which many people go to their graves early thinking they are mentally ill. But not us. We are injured, no doubt about that, but we are still on the other side, waiting for our wounds to heal so we can move on. And move on we will, just not yet. But we ARE on the other side. 

 

It meant a lot to me to read everything you have let yourself get out.

 

As I write to people here: it's part of the wave that we feel despondent, that we feel there has been no progress and there won't be. And that corny thing: it passes. We just have to stick around.

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direstraits

I'm a year behind you but am feeling most of the same way you do,you're not alone.

it's horrible and unbelievable...but here we are.

I guess I just want to say I understand what you're going through and let's hold onto each other as we struggle to recover from this unimaginable assault on our bodies,minds and spirits.

 

love,ds

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manymoretodays

Love you guys.  Hugs Petunia.  Same. :huh::blink:B)  Just not so eloquent with the words.  But I briefly felt it all.  Or all that I read.......  Good to see you posting.  Let us know what works for you next as it may work for me or her or him.

 

Me too.  I have alzheimer's/dementia and CFS/myalgic encephalitis today.  In fact I've been drifting to those diagnoses a lot when I'm home alone and isolating.   Darn.......I do hate chronic illness and hope and kind of know(or hope/pray) I don't have any.   Just for today I've got to prioritize the basic ADL's(activities of daily living) and getting out among other humans.  And focus on healing/recovery.......not further illness.  I hope that doesn't sound too crass for those of you struggling too.  It's just for me.......me only really........... that I do know that I'm real good at being sick and hopeless.  So essentially I have to do different, be different, think different, especially now.  Maybe I will have to settle for another diagnosis some day but not today.   And I don't think those that truly have the alzheimer's/dementia are aware of it........so that's good..........we are all hyper aware!  A little cog fog or something is all it is.  WITHDRAWAL.

 

Petunia, I am going to be honest here and admit my jealousy as well.........that of your doing chores mainly when you have the energy.  Maybe next week that will be me.  Hope so.  You DO chores!!!  Huge!

 

I guess I'm really only 10 mos. out from a non AD(see signature) so par for the course.  My essential CT off Lexapro was 3 years ago.........something to celebrate for sure.........not recommending my method though.  Yet........I AM CONVINCED that the worst of THAT is over.  I have to be. 

 

This new life, "new me" is the only one I've got now and I am thankful for the opportunity AND resources to pursue more life.  I forgive myself, my past, and all the people in it.  We are all very brave.  Lucky.  Survivors.  Gifted.  Not especially unique anymore though.  Every bodies got something.  And we are all in this together.

 

Oh.......I think I CAN try music while I get ready to go out early in this wonderful day. 

 

Love, peace, recovery/healing, and growth,

 

manymoretodays........better days........healing days.......and Yikes.......I like to type sometimes........

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JanCarol

Ah Petunia, I've learned so much from you.

 

I'm so sorry to hear you are struggling.

 

It's so hard to get any momentum up - whether it's CFS or dysregulation or damage - the fact remains that there are only  so many spoons in a day - and that's variable.  I wonder about the role of expectations in your disappointments.  Is there any way you can be grateful for each spoon?  That's how I get through, but I know everybody's different.  One effing spoon at a time.

 

You do have periods of normalcy - I think that's reason for hope.  I believe that you are still healing.  

 

Thank you for sharing with such clarity and focus - there are many of us who still struggle, who will feel less alone because of your post.

 

All I can add is that - we're listening.  And we care about you.  I care about you.

 

Whether you see it or not, you are amazing.  Thank you.

Edited by JanCarol
grammar

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Barbarannamated

Petunia,

I'm 6-7 years post Pristiq and your description is spot on.  I'm now on more drugs than before, but the withdrawal symptoms of Pristiq are unique.  The agony is indescribable.  My mind just can't grab on to anything for distraction.  It's Groundhog Day over and over.  I also have many serious personal and family issues which I just can't handle nor can I escape.  My sister (stage 4 lung cancer) has moved into my dad's house where I've been for 2 years.  She is a very heavy, inside smoker and it's set me back to a point I don't have hope of recovering from.  

 

All of the jealousy of other people cuts to the core.  I'm also envious of people who get to die and escape this life.  

 

Thanks for always sharing so honestly and eloquently.  You help so many others. 

 

B  

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manymoretodays
On 11/6/2017 at 11:10 AM, manymoretodays said:

Petunia, I am going to be honest here and admit my jealousy as well.........that of your doing chores mainly when you have the energy.  Maybe next week that will be me.  Hope so.  You DO chores!!!  Huge!

 

11 hours ago, Barbarannamated said:

All of the jealousy of other people cuts to the core.

 

Seriously........no harm meant.  If you were referring to my use of the j word.  Don't let it cut to the core.   I am suffering many of the same symptoms that Petunia describes.  Not a lot of "life" energy lately for me.   I only wish I could get on with some general housekeeping/chores as it has been months now.  I really had to prioritize reducing my isolation(it was getting bad) and getting on out every day.  Starting to get the hang of it again I hope.  I do that much and basic personal hygiene and eat and that's it.  Too tired and achy and demotivated to do more this week so far.   Coming out of a wave I hope.........as I can get obsessed that it's always going to be this way.   Apologies if my terminology was upsetting.

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Barbarannamated
On 11/7/2017 at 8:39 PM, manymoretodays said:

 

 

Seriously........no harm meant.  If you were referring to my use of the j word.  Don't let it cut to the core.   I am suffering many of the same symptoms that Petunia describes.  Not a lot of "life" energy lately for me.   I only wish I could get on with some general housekeeping/chores as it has been months now.  I really had to prioritize reducing my isolation(it was getting bad) and getting on out every day.  Starting to get the hang of it again I hope.  I do that much and basic personal hygiene and eat and that's it.  Too tired and achy and demotivated to do more this week so far.   Coming out of a wave I hope.........as I can get obsessed that it's always going to be this way.   Apologies if my terminology was upsetting.

 

Oh, no no no!!!  I meant MY OWN feelings of this.  It's exactly as Petunia described.... opposite of how I used to be when I had a good life.  I wasn't a jealous or envious person, aside from a minimal amount which I think is natural. I could genuinely celebrate with people on their achievements, life events, etc. I'm jealous of just about everything now: people who are able to work, have any functional family, are able to travel, etc.  My family part is not due to withdrawal, but has been accentuated as I've lost so many other things.  

 

I was disabled BY a Zoloft action in the 90s (39yo) and then worsened by withdrawal of Pristiq after approximately 30-40 different drugs for the original reaction (Neuromuscular / movement disorder), so my case is extreme.  

 

I hope this makes sense.  It's my own stuff. 

 

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manymoretodays

Does.  Make sense.  I. am too that way from time to time.  Even of those who post more eloquently sometimes.  Today.  Not so much.

 

Yikes, 39 years old.  I was officially disabled by the feds., I spose one could say, SSDI, in 2003, based on "major depressive disorder" or "bipolar" at age 46.  I'm pretty thankful for that though as it did not involve a major extreme neuromuscular/movement disorder.   I think it was more based on a MAOI withdrawal personally, and retrospectively.   Same.  28 medication mishaps in as many years.  It was a life changer though.......and self concept changer.........and pretty intense as I got to be recognized as the "sick" one by so many.  I got the courage to divorce, final total seperation at age 50(other than we still co-parent my struggling a bit young adult son) while on Effexor and Remeron.........thought I was normal plus a few.    I get it though.  I like your stuff too.  I must have read some in my beginnings here at SA,  In fact, I love you SA "oldtimers" ...........that's just an AA term.  We are all very young at heart with many good years to come.  I suppose my comment was more about ME being understood and my OWN stuff as well.

 

No problem and yet I really appreciate your reply too!

 

Hugs and keep posting........I will not personalize..........I will not..........I will...........I/we.

 

Love and best,

manymoretodays........bettah days

p.s. hey go see Alto if you are near Huntington beach.......she has some time free in that area today and manana..........pm her if it's a possibility

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Petunia

:wub:  I"m so grateful to everyone who responded to my last post. Thank you for all your words of support, empathy and encouragement and for sharing your own similar experiences. It helps to know I'm not alone in feeling some of the things I'm going through.

 

My history of emotional abuse sends me into shame spirals and I isolate as a form of self protection. I've learned this is how I react and know its better to reach out for support. The CBT I had for this was very helpful and I learned better ways of dealing with things. But waves bring cognitive issues and I forget everything I've learned. I go back to a state of being a helpless child. Its not until I start coming out of the wave that I recognize what's happening and what to do about it. Its important we are able to express our reality, even when its difficult for other people to hear.

 

Unfortunately, for many of us in childhood, self expression and having our own separate reality wasn't allowed. For me, if I ever expressed any negative emotion or reached out for comfort and support, I was shamed, ridiculed and invalidated, which of course made me feel even worse. So shutting myself down and isolating became an unconscious pattern of emotional survival.

 

I want to respond individually to some of what has been written, but just don't have the energy or cognitive capacity right now.... but in general, I'm feeling better than I was. The last two days have been better and I think (hope) this brutal wave has finally come to an end.

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Altostrata

Petunia, how are you doing? I miss you.

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bhasski
On 11/11/2017 at 1:45 PM, Petunia said:

But waves bring cognitive issues and I forget everything I've learned. I go back to a state of being a helpless child. I

 

This is the reality of me. Learn and forget everything learnt.

Get ridiculed and shut myself up.

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Jncs

Hi Petunia,

I am very sorry to read about your struggles.  You have given good advice to us and my husband is now back on his feet.  

I hope you will recover soon and enjoy the sunshine!

Best Wishes and Hugs,

Jean from S’pore

 

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Petunia

Its hard to believe (and accept) that I'm still not recovered.  Not a great deal has changed this past year. I"ve had no significant windows,  just ongoing cycles of waves and a very slowly rising baseline. The occasional better day here and there and its nice when I start to feel more normal earlier in the day rather than later.

 

I'm measuring this process in years now and estimate that I'm recovering about 10% per year.

 

If I read back through my thread, I would probably notice that some symptoms have gone, and perhaps I should, because poor memory (anterograde amnesia), is something I'm still experiencing. The extreme fear and terror states are mostly gone, replaced by more subtle anxiety and some morning dread. A feeling of impending doom is still there when I first wake and subsides as the day progresses.

 

My emotions are still quite chaotic. At times I feel nothing at all, other times I have extreme reactions and can't be around anyone, or interact in any way. Very occasionally I experience what I remember to be normal emotional responses, but so far, these haven't stuck.

 

My mood landscape is still all over the place. I can't trust myself to make any important decisions because I never know how I'm going to feel about anything from one day to the next, from one moment to the next.

 

I still get intermittent pain, usually in the head neck area on the right side. Still got temperature regulation issues, but not so bad. Sleeping fairly well, but waking up too early again. Daytime naps are still toxic, fatigue is fairly constant. Still plagued by apathy, no energy, and motivation only comes occasionally and in short bursts. I'm still reacting badly to stress, sugar and anything overly stimulating.

 

Really, its all just the same, but less intense, cycling around in waves, groups of symptoms which come and go in slowly decreasing spirals.

 

I still rarely leave the house, but when I do, its not the horrendous experience it used to be, but still not pleasant and I rarely enjoy anything. Depending on the level of DP/DR that day, makes whatever I'm doing either a neutral or unpleasant experience. From habit now I try and get things done as fast as possible so I can get back home. Even when I'm out and not feeling too bad, its hard to relax because of the years of being out, trying to do things and feeling like I was in a living nightmare, the trauma of it all is still effecting me, even though its not so bad now. The slightest increase in DP/DR when I'm out triggers me and I just want to go home as fast as possible. Its not like normal panic, where if you breathe through it and resist the urge to run, it will eventually subside and go away. I could handle that. This isn't panic attacks, I think I could deal with those, I've had enough of them in the safety of my own bedroom. To me, DP/DR is more like walking into a fire, it burns, and its going to keep burning while you stay in that fire. No amount of deep breathing and noticing the surrounding fire is going to stop it from burning you. Maybe I need to keep exposing myself to DP/DR inducing environments so my brain can rewire itself to not react that way, but so far, that method hasn't really worked and only time has lessened it.

 

My three month window last year, when I was out having fun most days has now become a surreal kind of memory which at times, I doubt really even happened.... but it did. I don't care if I don't ever have fun again, I would just like to wake up every morning and feel ok, normal, would be enough. I would like to be able to do 'pleasant' things and have them actually feel pleasant most of the time. Walking along a beach on a nice day should be a pleasant or at least neutral experience, but for me, over the last few years its mostly been an experience of confusion, horror and extreme discomfort... and now those bad memories effect me, even though the DP/DR isn't as extreme now, and occasionally it goes completely, I'm still very reluctant to expose myself to any environment which has triggered it in the past.... and that means anything outside of my bedroom really. When it goes away completely and doesn't come back, I'm sure I will be fine. I don't like being a prisoner in my own bedroom, but living a horror movie while on a bad drug trip, is worse. I wish I hadn't kept forcing myself to try and do things to 'help my recovery' for me, none of it turned out to be that magic bullet, the extra stress probably did more harm and now I'm dealing with the post trauma of it all. But I didn't know that.

 

In hindsight, I can see that my health started deteriorating after about 2 years of being on antidepressants. Some changes were sudden, but expected, but other changes were slower and more subtle. My general health got worse over time, lots of new conditions started to emerge for which I took more medications to manage. Nothing actually worked though, not really and of course the Lexapro was only working so far as it stopped me from going into acute withdrawal whenever I tried to stop taking it. Chaos set in soon after my 2 month taper.

 

Its been 7 years since my fast taper off Lexapro and 4.5 years completely drug free. For 2 years I didn't understand what was happening and was still trying to fix myself by visiting doctors, getting new diagnoses, trying new drugs and going back on old ones. Getting worse all the time.

 

It took about 18 months of being drug free before I started noticing any real improvement and now I'm obviously on the recovery path, but this would have to be the most challenging, and painful recovery processes anyone could go through. There isn't one area of my life that hasn't been severely impacted. Who I was and what I believed about myself and life has been stripped bare. There's nothing left of the me I used to be. I basically exist as nothing, just life flowing through this slowly recovering body, brain and nervous system.

 

I've learned how to live in the moment and that acceptance is the only tool which eases the suffering. I'm still struggling with the acceptance though, its hard to accept the unacceptable. Having my life and health ruined by a medication prescribed by a doctor, with no accountability, to me is unacceptable, especially because these drugs are still being used, still being promoted as a cure all for almost everything.

 

On most days, eventually, I'm able to accept my own personal reality, that this has happened to me and now I'm living life in this way, because there is no other choice. But I'm never going to accept that any of this is ok, that thousands, maybe even millions of innocent lives are being ruined by a system controlled by a very powerful, greedy minority who seem to get away with mass torture and murder... and it doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon as more and more people, including children are being told to take these poisons, that they need them and that they will help them. Maybe they do seem to help at first, sometimes. But its like walking through a mine field while playing Russian roulette...only a matter of time. Its obvious I have some kind of functional neurological damage, my brain and nervous system don't work the way they used to, the way they did before I ever took an antidepressant drug. I used to just have some situational anxiety, faulty beliefs and difficult circumstances mostly caused by bad choices. But now I've got something much worse, with no solution, treatment or cure, only hope, time and hanging onto faith in my brains ability to repair the damage.

 

I was about to write more, but my current gloomy outlook on humanity and life on this planet right now, isn't helpful, so I will keep it to myself, I'm sure its partly the withdrawal lens I'm seeing things through at the moment. Reality seems to consist mostly of what we choose to focus on or what we are forced to focus on by our actual life circumstances. When our actual life circumstances are so intensely difficult and painful, its very challenging to choose to focus in more pleasant and helpful directions... but its possible, necessary actually if we are to survive.

 

Acceptance of the unacceptable and distraction from intense pain and discomfort, have been the two things which have kept me alive through this recovery process. I've still got a way to go but maybe 2018 will be the year I turn a corner and stay there.

 

Happy New Year everyone, I hope its filled with more :) than :(

 

 

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elbee

Hey Petunia. I'm still following you :) 

 

You've mentioned childhood a number of times in your writing (this being one of the things that draws me to your healing story). I'm convinced that for myself, part of the equation in healing isn't just healing from the trauma of these meds, but for me healing the underlying childhood / adolescent traumas I experienced. I really don't want to presume anything with you, but some of the experiences you talks about, especially in your last post with regards to experiencing the dp/dr but it definitely NOT being full blown panic attacks sounds like very much what I'm experiencing. If this sounds tangential or not at all of interest to you, not a problem at all. But if you're interested in exploring this at all further, feel free to hit me up. 

 

Youre definitely doing some freat self care and moving in the direction of greater peace. And I definitely understand the frustration your are experiencing. My heart is with you!

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nz11

Greetings Petu 

I can relate so much to what you have written.

You write so well reminding me of things that I cant put into words. 

Just want to wish you noticeable healing this year and that  2018 is indeed the year you turn the corner. 

 

nz11

 

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Petunia

Thanks elbee and NZ, for visiting my thread and your kind support.

 

I just wanted to briefly document the end of another wave, and a return to a slightly higher baseline. As far a waves go, that wasn't a really bad one. Main features were that I started waking at around 5am again, with adreneline surges, and feelings of dread and impending doom which were lasting often until evening. The DP/DR returned to about 60% intensity. Going out took on a nightmarish quality again and it was a struggle leaving the house (again). The first week of the wave brought head pain, tension and a return of sinus problems. Bad dreams/nightmares came back too.

 

But I'm back to withdrawal normal again and feeling calmer. I started taking Vitamin C again a few days ago, that coincided with feeling better, maybe just a coincidence, but possibly not. Apparently vitamin C can reduce cortisol. When I was taking it previously, I thought at times it was helping, but its hard to draw firm conclusions about anything while going through this recovery process.

 

The only thing I'm certain of is that I'm getting better.... very, very slowly.

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direstraits
19 hours ago, Petunia said:

The only thing I'm certain of is that I'm getting better.... very, very slowly.

YAAAAY !!!

keep going petunia

 

xxx

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littleball

I checked in because I read your story some time ago and was sad because you were having a hard time again after so long. 

 

So happy to read now that you gained back some peace and that you acknowledged that the wave was not so bad as you had perceived!

Lots of hope thanks to you xx

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apace41
On 1/12/2018 at 10:19 PM, Petunia said:

But I'm back to withdrawal normal again and feeling calmer.

 

On 1/12/2018 at 10:19 PM, Petunia said:

The only thing I'm certain of is that I'm getting better.... very, very slowly.

 

Decided to quote the two most positive things, say I'm pleased you are back in a better space, and then move on.

 

Your perseverance is much appreciated, Petu, as was your visit and comment on my thread.

 

Best, 

 

Andy

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Farout

Dear Petunia, I was so sorry to read your recent wave. I want you to know that you helped me through my recovery. It might not have felt like it but, without you and Fresh, I don’t know where I’d be.

Thank you.

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